Kids these days

Kids these days…You know, kids these days are different than when I was a kid. I had good pals and best friends and we did a lot together and had a lot of fun and all that. Something about kids these days seems different though. I have noticed that these kids share more and better than I remember doing. Sure, we took turns drinking from the garden hose and maybe we traded cookies from our lunch boxes, but Isaac and many of his pals give things to each other freely…and not just little things. They share what’s important to them among each other. I have seen them share money and clothes and electronics and all sorts of things without hesitation. I don’t mean, “here, you can borrow my shirt” kind of stuff, but “here, you can have my shirt.”

I wonder if it comes down to economics of it or if it is a true change in how kids are these days. I grew up in an economically disadvantaged region of PA. Most people there worked very hard to get by and few had a life of plenty. Of course, I had plenty of love and support, but we didn’t have stuff in plenty. I am and was perfectly content with that life, but maybe my growing up was different because of that.  Maybe I didn’t share as freely because I didn’t have as much to share or what I did have was a little more precious to me.  Maybe it was the time and the world and all that.  I don’t have any idea.

Last weekend, Abigail ran in a cross-country meet.  She ran well and came in among the middle of the pack.  I was very happy for her, especially considering she is a new runner and a 6th grader competing among 8th graders.  As the last of the pack was coming in for one of the other races, one boy was obviously struggling to complete the race.  I was so proud to see a number of other runners who had finished their race return back to the lone runner and encourage and support him.  They ran beside him, encouraging him to keep going, that they were there to keep cheering him and that they were proud to run with him.  I don’t know that everyone got a ribbon, but in my eyes, I saw a team of kids that, rather than teasing or bullying, or even just being indifferent, proved that they were champions and that they shared the joy together.

Still running
Still running

I hear people complain about how kids these days feel entitled because everyone gets a ribbon and everyone gets constant praise.  Maybe that can be taken too far and maybe it is taken too far, too often, but honestly, I do not know that I have seen that problem.  If that sort of thing breeds the kind of sharing and concern that I have seen among my kids’ friends, I am all for giving every kid I see a ribbon.

Maybe it’s a different time or maybe I was just a bad friend, but many kids these days simply make me proud and give me hope that it’s all going to be ok…

7 thoughts on “Kids these days

  1. Sharing, I remember doing a lot of forced “sharing” with you… Glad to hear that not only your kids, but the kids they are friends with are learning valuable life lessons and actively living those lessons.

  2. Wow….25 years worth, that’s a lot of milk. Not too sure if I agree with the everybody gets a ribbon deal, however I believe that the ones who show the team spirit should get at least an honorable mention. Competitive activities are not just about winning even though that is the goal. But when everybody wins it seems to cheapen the whole idea.
    As for your kids learning gifting now that is a great thing.

  3. You guys had to share because we couldn’t afford 2. I don’t think it hurt you a bit. 25 years of milk money, I thought you got through school in 13 years. I must have missed a couple years.

  4. I look back at the toys my great grandfather had all the way through me and my children. The one constant has been the amount of stuff that is considered normal toys. I think my daughters would consider turning me into the child welfare department if they only had a wagon and wooden rocking horse. I know my daughter at 8 has more toys than I ever had by a factor of two or three. It is not me giving them to her but everyone else too.

    I’m guessing that plays a part in the giving nature of today’s youth but I also think there are a lot of other factors at play. With media full of stories about people giving, I’m sure that plays a big part.

  5. I love the optimism and focus of this blog. If you look for the bright side, you’ll find it. There are all kinds of “ribbons” to be given. If someone, especially a young someone, hasn’t been achieving their ribbons, I say motivation and inspiration are key. We can all find how and where to shine, we just need a little support sometimes.

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